75 BEST Tips Toyota Highlander Towing Capacity (Facts)

Jun 13, 2023
375 People Read
Toyota Highlander
Table of Contents
  1. Toyota Highlander Towing Capacity: Everything You Need to Know
  2. Technical Specifications
  3. Performance
  4. Safety Features
    1. Tips for Towing with your Toyota Highlander
    2. Comparison with Other Mid-Size SUVs
    3. Impact on Fuel Efficiency
    4. Recommended Accessories for Towing
    5. Factors That Can Impact Towing Capacity
    6. How to Calculate Towing Capacity
  5. What is the maximum towing capacity for the Toyota Highlander?
  6. Can the Toyota Highlander tow a boat?
  7. Can I install a tow hitch on my Toyota Highlander?
  8. Is it safe to tow with a Toyota Highlander?
  9. Can the Toyota Highlander tow in 4-wheel drive mode?
  10. Industry Opinion
  11. FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
  12. Please note
  13. Conclusion

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to purchase. This site is not intended to provide financial advice and is for entertainment only. 

Toyota Highlander Towing Capacity: Everything You Need to Know

The Toyota Highlander is a popular mid-size SUV that offers versatility, comfort, and reliability.


One of the key features that sets this vehicle apart from its competitors is its towing capacity.


In this article, we will explore the different aspects of the Toyota Highlander's towing capacity, including its technical specifications, performance, safety features, and more.


Technical Specifications

The Toyota Highlander is available in both front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive configurations, with three different engine options:

  • 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine

  • 3.5-liter V6 engine

  • Hybrid powertrain with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and two electric motors


The towing capacity of the Toyota Highlander varies depending on the engine and drivetrain configuration. Here are the details:

  • 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine: can tow up to 1,500 pounds

  • 3.5-liter V6 engine: can tow up to 5,000 pounds

  • Hybrid powertrain: can tow up to 3,500 pounds


Performance

The Toyota Highlander's towing capacity is impressive, but how does it perform on the road? The answer depends on several factors, including the weight of the towed load, road conditions, and driving habits.


When towing a heavy load, it's important to accelerate gradually and maintain a steady speed to avoid putting too much strain on the engine and transmission. The Toyota Highlander's V6 engine delivers smooth and powerful acceleration, making it an ideal choice for towing heavier loads. The hybrid powertrain also performs well, providing ample power for most towing needs.


Safety Features

Towing a heavy load can be challenging, especially when driving in difficult terrain or adverse weather conditions. That's why the Toyota Highlander comes equipped with a range of safety features to help you stay in control and avoid accidents.


Here are some of the safety features that come standard on most Toyota Highlander models:


  • Trailer Sway Control: helps keep the trailer stable by applying brakes to individual wheels and adjusting engine torque.


  • Hill Start Assist Control: prevents the vehicle from rolling backward when starting on a steep incline.


  • Downhill Assist Control: helps maintain a slow, steady speed when driving down a steep grade.


In addition, the Toyota Highlander also comes with a range of advanced driver assistance systems that can help prevent accidents and protect you and your passengers in case of a collision.


Tips for Towing with your Toyota Highlander

To ensure a safe and successful towing experience with your Toyota Highlander, it's important to follow these tips:


  • Choose the right tow hitch and trailer for your needs.


  • Know the weight limit and towing capacity of your vehicle, and stay within these limits.


  • Load the trailer evenly and properly distribute the weight to prevent sway and instability.


  • Use proper signaling and turning techniques when towing a trailer.


  • Keep a safe distance from other vehicles on the road and avoid sudden maneuvers or braking.


  • Check the vehicle's brakes, fluids, and tires before every towing trip.


Comparison with Other Mid-Size SUVs

When it comes to towing capacity, the Toyota Highlander is one of the top performers in its class. However, how does it compare to other mid-size SUVs on the market?


Here's a comparison of the Toyota Highlander's towing capacity with some of its competitors:

  • Ford Explorer: can tow up to 5,300 pounds

  • Honda Pilot: can tow up to 5,000 pounds

  • Nissan Pathfinder: can tow up to 6,000 pounds

  • Chevrolet Traverse: can tow up to 5,000 pounds


As you can see, the Toyota Highlander's towing capacity is competitive with other mid-size SUVs on the market, making it a great choice for those who need towing capabilities without sacrificing style, comfort, and reliability.


Impact on Fuel Efficiency

Towing a heavy load can have a significant impact on a vehicle's fuel efficiency. The extra weight and strain on the engine and transmission can cause the vehicle to consume more fuel than usual.


However, the Toyota Highlander's advanced engine technologies and aerodynamic design help minimize the impact on fuel economy. The V6 engine uses a variable valve timing system to optimize performance and fuel efficiency, while the hybrid powertrain delivers excellent fuel economy ratings even when towing.


Recommended Accessories for Towing

To enhance your towing experience with your Toyota Highlander, there are a few accessories you may want to consider:


  • Tow hitch: a properly installed tow hitch is essential for safe and secure towing.

  • Trailer wiring harness: this provides power to trailer lights and signals, ensuring visibility and safety on the road.

  • Trailer brake controller: if your trailer has its own brakes, a brake controller is needed to synchronize the braking with the vehicle's brakes.

  • Trailer mirrors: these extend the driver's field of vision, making it easier to monitor the trailer while driving.


Factors That Can Impact Towing Capacity

While the Toyota Highlander boasts impressive towing capacity, it's important to note that several factors can impact the vehicle's ability to tow heavy loads. Here are some of the key factors to consider:


  • Engine and drivetrain: as mentioned earlier, the Highlander's towing capacity varies depending on the engine and drivetrain configuration. The V6 engine is the most capable when it comes to towing, while the hybrid powertrain is better suited for lighter loads.


  • Payload capacity: the amount of weight the vehicle can carry in addition to the trailer tongue weight and the weight of the passengers and cargo can impact the towing capacity. Be sure to factor in the payload capacity when calculating the total weight of your towing setup.


  • Trailer tongue weight: the downward force exerted on the hitch ball by the trailer tongue can affect the vehicle's handling and stability. The tongue weight should be around 10-15% of the total trailer weight.


  • Trailer weight distribution: the weight should be distributed evenly across the trailer to prevent sway and instability while towing.


  • Altitude: towing at higher altitudes can put more strain on the engine and transmission due to the thinner air and reduced oxygen levels.


  • Weather and road conditions: driving in adverse weather or terrain can also impact the vehicle's towing capacity. Be sure to adjust your driving habits and take precautions when towing in difficult conditions.


How to Calculate Towing Capacity

To determine your Toyota Highlander's towing capacity, you'll need to calculate the Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR), which is the maximum weight of the vehicle, trailer, cargo, and passengers combined.


Subtract the vehicle's curb weight and passenger weight from the GCWR to get the maximum trailer weight.


Here's an example calculation for a Toyota Highlander with a V6 engine and all-wheel drive:

  • GCWR: 9,000 pounds

  • Curb weight: 4,345 pounds

  • Passenger weight: 600 pounds

  • Maximum trailer weight: 9,000 - 4,345 - 600 = 4,055 pounds


Be sure to check your vehicle's owner's manual or consult with a Toyota dealer for the exact towing capacity for your specific model and configuration.


What is the maximum towing capacity for the Toyota Highlander?

The maximum towing capacity of a Toyota Highlander varies depending on the engine and drivetrain configuration.


The V6 engine has a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 pounds, while the hybrid powertrain can tow up to 3,500 pounds.


Can the Toyota Highlander tow a boat?

Yes, the Toyota Highlander is capable of towing a boat, as long as the weight of the trailer and boat combined does not exceed the vehicle's maximum towing capacity.


Can I install a tow hitch on my Toyota Highlander?

Yes, you can install a tow hitch on your Toyota Highlander. It's important to choose the right hitch for your specific model and configuration, and have it installed by a professional to ensure optimal performance and safety.


Is it safe to tow with a Toyota Highlander?

Yes, it is safe to tow with a Toyota Highlander, as long as you follow the recommended guidelines and precautions, and stay within the vehicle's maximum towing capacity.


Can the Toyota Highlander tow in 4-wheel drive mode?

Yes, the Toyota Highlander can tow in 4-wheel drive mode. However, it's important to note that towing in 4-wheel drive mode can impact fuel efficiency and may put additional strain on the engine and transmission.


Industry Opinion

The Toyota Highlander's towing capacity is an impressive feature that sets it apart from other mid-size SUVs on the market. With its powerful engines, advanced safety features, and reliable performance, the Highlander is a great choice for those who need to tow heavy loads.


By understanding the technical specifications, performance, safety features, and other factors that impact towing, you can make an informed decision when choosing a towing setup for your Highlander.


Follow the recommended guidelines and precautions, and always stay within the vehicle's maximum towing capacity to ensure a safe and successful towing experience.


FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

How much weight can a Toyota Highlander tow?

The towing capacity of a Toyota Highlander varies depending on the engine and drivetrain configuration. The V6 engine has a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 pounds, while the hybrid powertrain can tow up to 3,500 pounds.


Can I increase the towing capacity of my Toyota Highlander?

No, you cannot increase the towing capacity of your Toyota Highlander beyond the manufacturer's specifications. Attempting to do so can damage the vehicle and compromise your safety on the road.


What is the tongue weight limit for the Toyota Highlander?

The tongue weight limit for the Toyota Highlander is around 10-15% of the total trailer weight. This ensures proper weight distribution and stability while towing.


Can I tow a travel trailer with my Toyota Highlander?

Yes, you can tow a travel trailer with your Toyota Highlander, as long as the weight of the trailer and its contents does not exceed the vehicle's maximum towing capacity.


Can I tow a horse trailer with my Toyota Highlander?

Yes, you can tow a horse trailer with your Toyota Highlander, as long as the weight of the trailer and the horses does not exceed the vehicle's maximum towing capacity.


Is it safe to tow a camper with a Toyota Highlander?

Yes, it is safe to tow a camper with a Toyota Highlander, as long as you follow the recommended guidelines and precautions, and stay within the vehicle's maximum towing capacity.


How do I know if my Toyota Highlander can handle the weight of my trailer?

To determine if your Toyota Highlander can handle the weight of your trailer, you need to calculate the Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR), which is the maximum weight of the vehicle, trailer, cargo, and passengers combined. Subtract the vehicle's curb weight and passenger weight from the GCWR to get the maximum trailer weight.


Can I tow a boat with my Toyota Highlander?

Yes, you can tow a boat with your Toyota Highlander, as long as the weight of the trailer and the boat does not exceed the vehicle's maximum towing capacity.


What kind of hitch do I need for my Toyota Highlander?

The type of hitch you need for your Toyota Highlander depends on the weight of the trailer and the towing capacity of the vehicle. Consult with a Toyota dealer or a professional mechanic to determine the best hitch for your specific model and configuration.


Can I install a tow hitch on my Toyota Highlander myself?

While it's possible to install a tow hitch on your Toyota Highlander yourself, we recommend having it installed by a professional to ensure optimal performance and safety.


Is it harder to drive when towing a trailer with a Toyota Highlander?

Towing a trailer with any vehicle requires some adjustments to your driving habits and techniques. However, the Toyota Highlander's advanced safety features and driver assistance systems make towing easier and safer.


How does towing impact fuel efficiency in a Toyota Highlander?

Towing a heavy load can have a significant impact on a vehicle's fuel efficiency. However, the Toyota Highlander's advanced engine technologies and aerodynamic design help minimize the impact on fuel economy.


What is the difference between front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive Toyota Highlanders when it comes to towing?

Both front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive Toyota Highlanders are capable of towing, but the all-wheel-drive configuration offers better traction and stability, making it ideal for towing in difficult terrain or weather conditions.


Can I use cruise control while towing with my Toyota Highlander?

No, you should not use cruise control while towing with your Toyota Highlander. This can put too much strain on the engine and transmission and compromise your ability to control the vehicle.


How often should I check my Toyota Highlander's brakes when towing?

It's important to check your Toyota Highlander's brakes before every towing trip to ensure they are in good condition and working properly. We recommend having them checked by a professional mechanic every 12,000 miles or once a year.


What should I do if my Toyota Highlander starts to sway while towing?

If your Toyota Highlander starts to sway while towing, you should gradually slow down, apply the trailer brakes (if equipped), and adjust your driving habits and load distribution to prevent further sway.


Can I use an electric brake controller with my Toyota Highlander?

Yes, you can use an electric brake controller with your Toyota Highlander if your trailer has its own brakes. This ensures that the trailer's braking is synchronized with the vehicle's brakes, providing optimal stopping power and control.


What kind of tires should I use when towing with my Toyota Highlander?

We recommend using high-quality, all-season tires with good traction and load-carrying capacity when towing with your Toyota Highlander.


Can I tow a car with my Toyota Highlander?

No, the Toyota Highlander is not designed for towing other vehicles, and attempting to do so can cause damage to the vehicle and compromise your safety on the road.


Can I tow in overdrive with my Toyota Highlander?

No, it's not recommended to tow in overdrive with your Toyota Highlander. This can put too much strain on the engine and transmission and cause damage over time.


What is the difference between towing capacity and payload capacity?

Towing capacity refers to the maximum weight a vehicle can tow, while payload capacity refers to the maximum weight of passengers and cargo the vehicle can carry in addition to the tongue weight and trailer weight.


Does the Toyota Highlander have a built-in brake controller?

No, the Toyota Highlander does not come with a built-in brake controller. You will need to purchase and install one separately if your trailer has its own brakes.


Can I tow with a Toyota Highlander hybrid?

Yes, the Toyota Highlander hybrid is capable of towing, but its maximum towing capacity is lower than the V6 engine configuration, at 3,500 pounds.


Is it safe to tow at night with a Toyota Highlander?

Towing at night can be more challenging due to reduced visibility, so it's important to take extra precautions and adjust your driving habits accordingly. Ensure that all trailer lights are working properly and that you have good visibility of the road ahead.


What kind of maintenance is required for my Toyota Highlander when towing?

Towing can put extra strain on your Toyota Highlander, so it's important to follow the recommended maintenance schedule for your vehicle, including regular oil changes, tire rotations, and brake inspections. Be sure to check your owner's manual for specific maintenance requirements related to towing.


Can I use a weight distribution hitch with my Toyota Highlander?

Yes, you can use a weight distribution hitch with your Toyota Highlander, as long as you choose the right one for your specific model and configuration and have it installed by a professional to ensure optimal performance and safety.


What is the best way to load cargo when towing with a Toyota Highlander?

Loading cargo evenly and distributing the weight properly across the trailer is crucial for safe and stable towing. Be sure to secure all cargo and distribute the weight according to the manufacturer's recommendations.


Can I tow with a Toyota Highlander when it's raining?

Towing in the rain can be more challenging due to reduced visibility and slippery road conditions. Take extra precautions, adjust your driving habits, and ensure that your trailer lights are working properly.


Can I use a sway control device with my Toyota Highlander?

Yes, you can use a sway control device with your Toyota Highlander if you experience sway while towing. These devices can help improve stability and control while on the road.


How long does it take to install a tow hitch on a Toyota Highlander?

The installation time for a tow hitch on a Toyota Highlander can vary depending on the type of hitch and the specific model and configuration. It's best to consult with a professional to get an accurate estimate.


Can I tow a U-Haul trailer with my Toyota Highlander?

Yes, you can tow a U-Haul trailer with your Toyota Highlander, as long as the weight of the trailer and its contents does not exceed the vehicle's maximum towing capacity.


Is the Toyota Highlander a good SUV for towing?

Yes, the Toyota Highlander is a great SUV for towing, thanks to its powerful engines, advanced safety features, and reliable performance.


Can I tow a motorcycle with my Toyota Highlander?

Yes, you can tow a motorcycle with your Toyota Highlander, as long as the weight of the trailer and the motorcycle does not exceed the vehicle's maximum towing capacity.


What is the best way to practice towing with a Toyota Highlander?

Practice towing in a safe and controlled environment, such as an empty parking lot or a quiet road. Start with lighter loads and gradually work your way up to heavier loads, practicing turns, backing up, and other maneuvers along the way.


Can I tow a pop-up camper with my Toyota Highlander?

Yes, you can tow a pop-up camper with your Toyota Highlander, as long as the weight of the trailer and its contents does not exceed the vehicle's maximum towing capacity.


How often should I check my Toyota Highlander's transmission fluid when towing?

It's important to check your Toyota Highlander's transmission fluid before every towing trip to ensure proper levels and prevent damage to the transmission. We recommend having it checked by a professional mechanic every 30,000 miles or once every two years.


Should I use premium gasoline when towing with my Toyota Highlander?

No, it's not necessary to use premium gasoline when towing with your Toyota Highlander. The recommended fuel type is regular unleaded gasoline.


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Conclusion

Overall, the Toyota Highlander's towing capacity is a key selling point for this popular mid-size SUV. With impressive technical specifications, performance, safety features, and fuel efficiency, the Highlander is a versatile and reliable choice for those who need to tow heavy loads. By following the recommended tips and guidelines, and choosing the right accessories, you can ensure a safe and successful towing experience with your Toyota Highlander.


The Toyota Highlander is a versatile and capable SUV that offers impressive towing capacity and performance. Whether you're towing a small boat or a large trailer, the Highlander's V6 engine and hybrid powertrain can handle the job with ease. And with a range of safety features and driver assistance systems, you can feel confident and secure on the road. Follow these tips and guidelines to ensure a safe and successful towing experience with your Toyota Highlander.



Table of Contents
  1. Toyota Highlander Towing Capacity: Everything You Need to Know
  2. Technical Specifications
  3. Performance
  4. Safety Features
    1. Tips for Towing with your Toyota Highlander
    2. Comparison with Other Mid-Size SUVs
    3. Impact on Fuel Efficiency
    4. Recommended Accessories for Towing
    5. Factors That Can Impact Towing Capacity
    6. How to Calculate Towing Capacity
  5. What is the maximum towing capacity for the Toyota Highlander?
  6. Can the Toyota Highlander tow a boat?
  7. Can I install a tow hitch on my Toyota Highlander?
  8. Is it safe to tow with a Toyota Highlander?
  9. Can the Toyota Highlander tow in 4-wheel drive mode?
  10. Industry Opinion
  11. FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
  12. Please note
  13. Conclusion

Disclosure:  Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to purchase. This site is not intended to provide financial advice and is for entertainment only.